Cybersecurity Expert | Focused on research and investigations
There are reports of cyber attacks almost every single week.
In January 2020, The Albany County Airport Authority suffered from the ransomware attack and reportedly paid an undisclosed sum of ransom to the hackers. And right at the end of 2019 a cyber attack hit Pensacola, Florida — the hackers aimed at the city’s sanitation and energy departments by shutting down the Internet, telephone and online payment systems.
While the big names appear in the news, smaller businesses often get ignored.
According to Hiscox, 47% of small businesses reported having at least one cyber attack in 2018.
But if even big companies like Facebook can get attacked, it’s pretty impossible for smaller businesses to protect themselves, right?
Not at all. You see, cyber security is all about good online behavior and having the right protocols in place. All you need is the right guidance.
So if you’ve been wondering if your business needs a cyber security consultant, I’ll show you the 5 biggest reasons why that answer is an absolute yes.
The biggest problem facing all businesses these days is that the sheer amount of cyber attacks is increasing at a rapid pace. According to research, there was an increase of 350% in cyber attacks in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Alarmingly, this is affecting the Asia-Pacific in unimaginable ways, with China leading the way in Asian cyber attacks.
What this means is simple: the number of cyber attacks is expected to rise dramatically. That means that all organizations — public, private, big or small — have to be prepared.
Being prepared means getting ready to tackle the most common business cyber security problems:
A strong cyber security consultant will help you if not avoid, then solve these problems quickly and efficiently.
Yes, you read that right: cyber attacks aren’t just for the big guys anymore. Smaller companies are just as vulnerable, thanks to a term known as “island hopping.”
In this strategy, if hackers want to ultimately gain access to a large company’s database, it will begin to attack the smaller (and more vulnerable) subcontractors and third-party companies that work closely with the larger company. By accessing smaller organizations’ databases, they can then “hop” over to the big target.
A cyber security consultant will help your organization prepare for these hacking strategies by first auditing your organization’s risks and processes, and then implementing the proper defences you’ll need.
Many loose when a company is attacked, including the two main stakeholders: clients and employees.
Employees are impacted in that they will be targeted by hackers, possibly causing major disruptions in their careers. Clients, both big and small, will have their data leaked or held at ransom, which can lead to huge financial consequences.
Having a cyber security consultant work with your business will help put both employees’ and clients’ minds at ease. This professional will not only help implement the necessary infrastructure to avoid cyber attacks, but will also train staff and clients how to behave online and offline.
Asia was hit hard in 2017’s WannaCry ransomware attack. This cyber attack, which locks users out of their computers in return for about $300 in Bitcoin, affected Indonesia, Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, and many other countries.
However, ransomware charges aren’t the only financial consequences of a cyber attack. Businesses can end up losing customers, have trouble attracting new ones, and lose brand reputation. According to Hiscox, yearly costs can range from $35,000 for smaller businesses to more than $1 million for larger companies.
What’s even more alarming, is this new Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) trend. Basically, RaaS refers to malware kits anyone can purchase — they are ready-made to launch ransomware attacks. The availability of these kits means even less tech-savvy (and less resource-rich) actors can succesfully carry out these attacks, increasing their prevalence.
Such a trend is increasing daily, and it will result in more attacks against people and businesses.
So it goes without saying that the amount of money that you’ll be saving at the end of the year by having stronger cyber security will more than offset the cost of a good cyber security professional.
Let’s imagine the worst thing happens: your business suffers a data breach, and your client’s information is stolen, locked out or leaked. What happens next?
If you have a cyber security plan in place, provided by a professional, you’ll know exactly what to do to minimize the negative impacts. Your cyber security consultant will already have given you step-by-step instructions for what to do in the event that the worst case scenario happens.
And with that, they’ll also have prepared you for the exact things you need to do to make sure you minimize the financial, reputational, and even legal consequences of a major data breach.
When it comes to business cyber security, it’s a good news/bad news sort of situation. Bad news: there are a lot of cyber criminals out there, their attacks are increasing, and being prepared is no longer a choice.
But the good news is this: there are a lot of strong consultants out there that can help you get prepared quickly and effectively. Once you implement their recommendations and practice cyber security every time you go online, you’ll be able to protect your business, staff and clients.
What insights do you have on the topic? Does your business have a cyber security plan in place? Do you prefer having an in-house person or a third party consultant taking care of your business cyber security?
Share your opinion in the comments, and I’ll be sure to follow up.